Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation

Interdisciplinary Toxicology

The Journal of Institute of Experimental Pharmacology of Slovak Academy of Sciences

4 Issues per year

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2014: 0.471
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2014: 0.670
Impact per Publication (IPP) 2014: 1.412

Open Access

Toxicological risk of melamine and cyanuric acid in food and feed

Pavel Suchý1 / Eva Straková1 / Ivan Herzig1 / Jaroslav Staňa1 / Renata Kalusová1 / Markéta Pospíchalová1

Faculty of Veterinary Hygiene and Ecology, University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Brno, Czech Republic1

Central Institute for Supervising and Testing in Agriculture, Czech Republic2

This content is open access.

Citation Information: Interdisciplinary Toxicology. Volume 2, Issue 2, Pages 55–59, ISSN (Online) 1337-9569, ISSN (Print) 1337-6853, DOI: 10.2478/v10102-009-0010-6, June 2009

Publication History

Published Online:

Toxicological risk of melamine and cyanuric acid in food and feed

From the toxicological point of view, in the last two years melamine and cyanuric acid have become matters of great interest. These substances, especially melamine, have been abused during food and feed adulteration by increasing the content of nitrogen compounds in these products. Melamine and cyanuric acid as individual substances do not pose any serious risk in terms of toxicology. From the point of view of toxicology, it is especially the complex of melamine with cyanuric acid that is important. This complex, also known as the melamine-cyanurate complex, is a cause of human and animal health problems. In this work we present two examples of the incidence of melamine and cyanuric acid in two feed products originating from China. They were rice and the pea concentrates intended for animal nutrition. Protein concentrates can be the main risk factor for food chain contamination with melamine and cyanuric acid, especially those of unknown origin. Feed with a high content of nitrogen compounds and low content of aminoacids can be regarded as particularly suspicious. A comparison of results for determining nitrogen compounds and amines can be used as proof of adulteration of protein feeds. These feeds must be subjected to further analysis to determine melamine and cyanuric acid.

Keywords: adulteration of protein feeds; nitrogen compounds; toxicological consequences

  • Allen LM, Briggle TV, Pfaffengerger CD. (1982). Absorption and excretion of cyanuric acid in longdistance swimmers. Drug Metab Rev 13(3): 499-516. [CrossRef]

  • Bingham E, Cohrssen B, Powell CH. (2001). Patty's Toxicology Volumes 1-9 5th ed. John & Sons. New York, N.Y. p. 4:1335.

  • Brown CA, Jeong KS, Poppenga RH, Puschner B, Miller DM, Ellis AE, Kang KI, Sum S, Cistola AM, Brown S. (2007). Outbreaks of renal failure associated with melamine and cyanuric acid in dogs and cats in 2004 and 2007. J Vet Diagn Incest 19: 525-531.

  • Dobson RLM. (2008). Identification and Characterization of Toxicity of Contaminants in Pet Food Leading to an Outbreak of Renal Toxicity in Cats end Dogs. Toxicological Science Advanced publication.

  • Lide DR. (2005). CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics 86th Edition 2005-2006. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis, Boca Raton, FL p. 3-488.

  • Melnick RL. (1984). Urolithiasis and bladder carcinogenicity of melamine in rodents. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 72(2): 292-303. [CrossRef] [PubMed]

  • OECD (1999). Screening Information Data Set for Isocyanuric acid CAS No 108-80-5 read at http://www.chem.unep.ch/irptc/sids/OECDSIDS/108805.pdf

  • Ogasawara H, Imaida K, Ishiwata H. (1995). Urinary bladder carcinogenesis induced by melamine in F344 male rats: correlation between carcinogenicity and urolith formation. Carcinogenesis 16(11): 2773-7.

  • Vail T, Jones PR, Sparkman OD. (2008). Rapid and unambiguous identification of melamine in contaminated pet food based on mass spectrometry with four degrees of confirmation. J Anal Toxicol 31: 304-312. [Web of Science]

  • Yamamoto M, Uneyama C, Toda M, Sasaki S, Morikawa K. (2008). Pet food and animal feed contaminated with melamine [Article in Japanese] Shokuhin Eiseigaku Zasshi 49: 13-16.

  • Puschner B, Poppenga RH, Lowenstine LJ, Filigenzi MS, Pesavento PA. (2007). Assessment of melamine and cyanuric acid toxicity in cats. J Vet Diagn Invest 19: 616-624. [PubMed] [Web of Science] [CrossRef]

  • Cianciolo RE, Bischoff K, Ebel JG, Van Winkle TJ, Goldstein RE, Serfilippi LM. (2008). Clinicopathologic, histologic, and toxicologic findings in 70 cats inadvertently exposed to pet food contaminated with melamine and cyanuric acid. Javma-Journal of The American Veterinary Medical Association 233: 729-737. [Web of Science]

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Jasmina Bordón-González, José Roig-Beltrán, and Rocío Ortiz-Moncada
Revista Española de Nutrición Humana y Dietética, 2012, Volume 16, Number 2, Page 61
Kazuhiro Takagi, Kunihiko Fujii, Ken-ichi Yamazaki, Naoki Harada, and Akio Iwasaki
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 2012, Volume 94, Number 6, Page 1647
Hao-Yu Shen, Yang-Qing Liu, Jing Gao, Hui-Min Zhen, Ning Zhu, and Jia Li
DNA and Cell Biology, 2011, Volume 30, Number 4, Page 255

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.